Romance and Elegance

Some times you hear about a garden and how wonderful it is and when you visit you wonder if you are in the right place.  However, today was not one of those days.  Today the location was completely stunning and the planting was romantic and floriferous.

Birtsmorton Court, near Malvern, is a medieval moated grange.  It is one of only 10 moated houses in private ownership in the country and unusually Birtsmorton actually has a double moat.  On the other side of the house there is another square moat around an island where the livestock were driven to stay overnight. You can read up on the history of the Court via this link.  However an interesting smidge of information is that it was a member of the Nanfan family who owned the house in the Elizabethan times who introduced Henry VIII to Thomas Wolsey who was to go on to become Cardinal Wolsey.  Apparently Thomas Wolsey used to sleep under the large yew tree whilst he was a chaplain at the church adjacent to the house.

Whilst the location of the house is stunning the formal garden itself is quite wonderful.  You are presented with a large grid of yew topiary, all immaculately trimmed.  You wall along one side and you have glimpses of something magical through the gaps between the yew columns. But no you mustn’t be tempted in, instead you resist and walk around the around of the topiary square where you discover bountiful herbaceous borders between the yew and the old brick wall.

The borders are full of peonies.  I don’t think I have seen so many peonies in one garden and a wonderful selection of pinks, whites and reds.  Roses are in plentiful supply as well.  All this romantic planting is for a particular purpose since the house is a wedding venue and you can imagine how wonderful your wedding photographs would be taken in such a romantic and historic setting.

Now you can peer through the yew topiary and you find an entrance to the White Garden.  I’m not that keen on single colour gardens but this one was quite exceptional – even the butterflies were white!!  As you can imagine this is very much intended as a venue for photo opportunities or even on a beautiful summers day the actual wedding ceremony.

I was particularly taken with the standard white wisteria.  It just shows that you don’t need to train them up the side of a house.  Another idea to ponder.  In fact I heard quite a few people at different points in the garden obviously inspired with various ideas particularly the various trained trees.

Once you have absorbed your formal gardens you can wander out towards the countryside along the stream which I think you will agree is just as romantic appearing as the White Garden.

And I leave you with a final view of the house.

Sadly the gardens are only open one day a year for the National Garden Scheme and I think that the only other way you can visit them is if you attend a wedding or an event held at the venue.  This is sad as I think the house and garden should be better known but then again it is always nice to visit somewhere that isn’t overly visited and not too crowded.


15 Comments Add yours

  1. PJ Girl says:

    What a beautiful house and garden – such a shame that it’s only open for one day (as I’m unlikely to be invited to a wedding there!). That herbaceous border is stunning and I love the white garden… thanks for the tour!

  2. Donna says:

    What a handsome old house and captivating garden combo! Looks like you got some good weather there too!

  3. Julieanne says:

    Lovely piece Helen, thanks for sharing the beautiful garden with us. I don’t think I’ve ever see a wisteria grown as a standard before – very intriguing!

  4. leenie says:

    What a stunning place to visit!

  5. Mark and Gaz says:

    The moment I saw the title of your blog I thought it was a wonderful title, and the property/garden that you featured aptly deserves it.

    I reckon they can make substantial extra money if they open their garden to the public several days a week (for a fee of course). It looks like it’s good enough to merit an entry charge.

  6. absolutely lovely…I adore the house and gardens…

  7. Yvonne Ryan says:

    Yvonne – NZ — Oh Oh Oh – What a gorgeous home and garden – definitely on my ‘wish list’ (when I win Lotto) – All my favs – peonies – wisteria – moats – roses and arbours!!!

  8. What a beautiful house! I’m pleased that the gardens seem to have that same evocative spirit as the house; it would have been a shame to have a house like that surrounded by immaculate but boring stretches of lawn…

  9. Christina says:

    Lovely description Helen. Looks like a real gem, I’ve never heard it mentioned before. I love the idea of wisteria trained as trees or standards like these. Julie at Wife, Mother Gardener showed some amazing wisteria recently. Thanks for sharing your visit. Christina

  10. That’s lovely, thanks, Helen. Having been put off white gardens by Sissinghurst, I’m a little less anti now I’ve seen your pictures That wisteria is stunning, though am never totally comfortable with plants that need permanent staking to be free-standing. Would rather they were on a wall or trellis.
    I wonder how damp the cellars are?

  11. Annie_H says:

    What a lovely garden, there are some gems in the NGS.

  12. What a fantastic setting for the garden. I stared at the photos for a while to get all of the details in them. The stream with the completely full planting of green i so serene, and all of the layers in the white garden add a lot of interest. I wish that I had a few more sunny spots to squeeze in some more peonies.

  13. Alberto says:

    The place itself is stunning! The garden reminds me of Alice in Wonderland, somehow, particularly those big yew topiary. Very nice garden, no wonder they use it as a wedding venue.

  14. Patty says:

    Lucky you to have a tour in those lovely gardens. The old home is quite attractive and I can certainly see why anyone would want to be married there.

  15. kininvie says:

    Only the English can do gardens like that! A true moated grange as well.
    Luckily not like Tennyson:
    With blackest moss the flower-plots
    Were thickly crusted, one and all:
    The rusted nails fell from the knots
    That held the pear to the gable-wall.
    The broken sheds look’d sad and strange:
    Unlifted was the clinking latch;
    Weeded and worn the ancient thatch
    Upon the lonely moated grange.

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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